January 7, 2016


Welcome back! The PTG events calendar on our website has been updated to reflect all scheduled events through the end of the year. Check it out. January stays slow, but things start to get busy come February with Bingo Night, Hobby Fair, and Geography Quest. Look up your favorite event and save the date!

Mark your calendar:

  • Monday, January 11: Deadline to purchase tickets for the BSO family concert. See below for details.
  • Tuesday, January 12: 9am PTG meeting, cafeteria; 6:30pm CPS School Committee Meeting, Ripley
  • Thursday, January 21: CPS Teacher contract negotiations meeting, Ripley
  • Tuesday, January 26: 6:30pm Joint School Committee Meeting, Ripley

Trish and Betsy


The Service Learning Committee would like to thank our entire community for the tremendous support for the Fifth Grade Holiday Food Drive on behalf of Open Table. The Fifth Graders made 150 snack bags full of contributed items for the children of the guests at Open Table. Take a look at what they did on the Open Table Facebook Page!


This could not have happened without all of the amazing donations that the children brought in each day, and the teachers and parents who worked with the students and gave up many hours to this collective effort. You have all made a real difference for others in our community and showed once again how Thoreau CARES!


January 14 from 7-9pm at Concord Carlisle High School, 500 Walden Street, Concord, Learning Commons. Do you have a child/teen on an IEP?  This free workshop is designed to help you learn how to be an effective partner with your child’s school – and how to plan, make decisions and monitor your child’s progress in school. Learn your rights and responsibilities under Massachusetts Education Law. This workshop is highly recommended for those who have never attended an IEP Basic Rights workshop before. For planning purposes an RSVP is appreciated, but not required. Please RSVP and send questions to concordsepac@gmail.com. Hosted by the Concord and CCHS SEPAC: http://wwwconcordsepac.com.


We are planning a trip to Symphony Hall for the wonderful BSO Family Concert! This year’s family concert is Saturday, March 5 at 12pm. Adults are $20 and kids are FREE. This year’s theme is “Growing up Whole: Hearing the Orchestra Grow,” featuring music of Beethoven, Brahms, and of course John Williams! Pre-concert activities include the Instrument Playground, instrument demonstrations and much more and are available for all ticket holders from 10:30 – 11:30 am. The sign up form and everything you need to know can be found at this link: http://goo.gl/forms/DA5E1uKt3k. If you miss the deadline (I must receive you check by Monday, January 11 – no exceptions) you may still be able to attend, but you will not be able to sit with the group. Any family needing financial assistance to participate should contact Rachel Levesque at rlevesque@colonial.net or 97-318-1300. E-mail Jen Montbach at jmontbach@radiusensemble.org with any questions.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE THROUGH THE THOREAU LIBRARY GIFT BOOK PROGRAM! As we transition to a new calendar year, it is still the right time to donate to the library through the Gift Book Program. Swing by the library and pick out the books you want from the Gift Book Box, then write a check for the cover price to the PTG. Fill in bookplates with the name of the donor and honoree. Done! Please consider joining the growing ranks of families who are using this wonderful program to honor teachers and students. You’ll be glad you did! Questions? Speak with the librarians or contact Liz Wei at fennwei@yahoo.com.


Have you ever wondered why Vikings wore animal horns on their helmets? Well, wonder no more. It’s a myth! Vikings did not use horned helmets, even for ceremonial purposes. Want to learn more about the Vikings? Stay tuned for this year’s Geography Quest, which will arrive in teacher mailboxes at the end of January. Once Quests are collected in March, I will be looking for a team of graders to join me for a grading party. If you are interested in helping out, please email me, Liz Wei, at fennwei@yahoo.com.


January School Lunch Menu: http://www.concordpublicschools.net/food-and-nutrition-services/school-menus/

MySchoolBucks Lunch Account Balance: https://www.myschoolbucks.com/

Math Resources for parents: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Link/ParentResources


Mindfulness Workshop — Tonight at 7pm

The Center for Parents and Teachers is offering a Parent’s Night on the Benefits of Mindfulness and how it is helpful in reducing stress and attaining balance in your life: Thursday, Jan. 7 from 7-8:30pm, Ripley School, 120 Meriam Rd. Dr. Kim Nolan from Vermont will share her wealth of insights, scientific research and practical strategies.  Pre-registration is required.  If the $10 online fee presents a challenge for you, please contact Sally at the Center for Parents and Teachers for a full scholarship (cpt@concordps.org) For more information: http://mindfulness7jan2016concordma.eventbrite.com Find out more details about this and other programs at www.centerforparentsandteachers.org

Preschool Openings for 2016-2017

Are You Looking For a High Quality Preschool Program?  Then Concord Public Schools has the preschool program you are looking for!  Our program prides itself in individualized, hands-on, experiential learning.  We offer half and full day programs. Come to our Open House on Friday, January 8, 2-4pm or 6-7:30pm (snow date 1/15/16).  Children are welcome!  Come see our facility, talk with our staff, and ask questions about the program.  We are located at the Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road in Concord. Intent to Apply forms will be available at Open House or at each of the Elementary Buildings, the Special Education Office at Ripley, or to download from our website beginning 1/11/15. For more information, please visit us our website at www.concordpublicschools.net.

Concord Free Public Library Family & Children’s Programs

  • Backyard Astronomy: Jan. 8 at 6pm. All are invited to the Fowler Branch of the Concord Free Public Library on Friday, Jan. 8 at 6pm for “Backyard Astronomy”, a family-friendly presentation to learn how to use the new Library Telescope. Find out what objects lie within the reach of this amazing telescope and how easy it is to use with John Root and Jim Zebrowski of the Aldrich Astronomical Society. Weather permitting, an outdoor telescope demonstration will follow the presentation and door prize announcements. The telescope, an Orion StarBlast, was generously donated to the Concord Free Public Library by Claire and Donald Moir and will be maintained by the Aldrich Astronomical Society, Inc. as part of their Adopt a Library Program. It will be available to Concord residents to borrow through the Fowler Branch for up to seven days at a time.
  • Pinwheels For Peace: Jan. 9 from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The Concord Free Public Library children’s room is joining with Concord’s schools in taking part in the Pinwheels For Peace program.  Material will be put out for families to create pinwheels to aid Syrian children in refugee camps. Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, www.concordlibrary.org
  • Dinosaur Dig: Jan. 11 at 4pm. Learn how to dig for fossils and make some of your own! Ages 5-10.
  • Life-Sized Candyland for Kids: Jan. 27 at 4pm. Grades K-5 can play life-sized Candyland!
  • Third Grade Book Eaters: 3rd Wed. of each month from 4-5pm. Let’s share our favorite books (old & new). Plus games, crafts, and food!   Jan 20 at 4pm: Happy New Year! OUT with the OLD & IN with   the NEW! Show & Tell: Let’s explore OLD classics and NEW Fiction. Activity: Library Tour: Upstairs Downstairs at the Concord Library; let’s explore behind the scenes of the library. Craft: Time Capsule — Make a Personal Time Capsule for 2016! Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, www.concordlibrary.org.

Concord Carlisle Chess Club starts winter series this Sunday

The Concord-Carlisle Chess Club is open to grades 3-up. It meets at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center on Sunday afternoons for instruction and play. Chess Master Vadim Martirosov conducts lessons, training and master challenges to all levels. Participants have time for practice and tournament preparation if they wish, and newcomers may drop in for recreational play and to learn about the Club. The Club encourages participation of all ages, and young players competing against adults is common. The reduced fee for a parent joining a child promotes family enrollment and opens the door for family quality time around the chess board. Sundays, 2-5 pm, January 10-April 10 at Harvey Wheeler Community Center, West Concord.  $175 fee for instruction and club play (includes annual $20 materials fee).  $49 special rate for parent who joins a student under high school age. For additional information please email concordchess@yahoo.com  Class #3691, enroll at Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education, www.ace.colonial.net  (978) 318-1432.

MLK, Jr. Celebration

You are invited to the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, an important event to celebrate the life and legacy of this great leader. On Wednesday, January 13, the community is invited to attend an evening of music and inspiration that honors the life of this extraordinary man, with performances from the Willard School Chorus, the Boston Children’s Chorus, and other special guests. This annual event, sponsored by the Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council, is always a special evening and a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s message of freedom and justice for all. The celebration begins at 7PM, at the Fenn School Auditorium, 516 Monument St. in Concord, on January 13. The event is free and all are welcome. For more information about the Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council, go to www.cchumanrights.org.

CC Community Chest: Annual Community Speaker

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest is proud to present its Annual Community Speaker event on Monday, February 1 at 7:30pm at the Fenn School, Ward Hall.  Join us for an evening with Dr. Annie Brewster, Founder and Executive Director of Health Story Collaborative.  Dr. Brewster is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a practicing Internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.  She is also a patient, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001.  In 2010, motivated by her belief in the power of stories to improve health, Dr. Brewster started Health Story Collaborative to collect, share, and honor stories of illness and healing.  Its goal is to create a forum for story sharing to make the process of navigating illness less isolating, and to empower individuals and families facing health challenges.  Dr. Brewster has been published in The New York Times Well Blog, the Commonwealth WBUR blog, NPR.org, the Boston Globe, Harvard Medicine Magazine as well as presenting at TEDx Fenway, 2014.  For more information on HSC, please visit http://www.healthstorycollaborative.org/.  To register for this FREE event, go to the Community Chest website at www.cccommunitychest.org or call 978-369-5250.

CCYL – Girls Lacrosse There is only a week left to register for girls lacrosse (late fee applies).  Girls grades 3/4 and 5/6 practice Tuesday/Thursdays and game day is Sunday.  CCYL has balanced teams and welcome new and seasoned players.  Come learn the fastest game on two feet!  1st and 2nd Graders come learn the sport in Sunday clinics (rolling registration, no late fees).  Questions please email nikkimorrisey@gmail.com

The Shamrock Ball

Tickets to the Shamrock Ball, presented by Concord Recreation, will go on sale on February 3 at 9am. The event is March 12, 2016 at The Westford Regency from 7pm-9:30pm and is for girls in grades 2-6 and an adult guest.  Tickets are $90 per couple.  Online registration will be available www.concordma.gov/recreation.  We suggest you set up your account prior to the registration date if you have not already done so. Tickets are also available at the Hunt Recreation Building, or by phone 978-369-6460.  Proceeds benefit Concord Recreation camp scholarships. Tickets sell out quickly.

CC Adult and Community Ed. Parenting Programs

Looking for something FUN to do with your toddler? Try these programs at the Ripley School in Concord.

Parent Toddler Program (ages 12-24 months as of Sept. 2015): A fun-filled playgroup for toddlers! While the children play in the same room, parents participate in a discussion about parenting one year olds. The class includes a snack time, outdoor or gym play, and a fun interactive singing time. Classes meet Fridays from 9:30-11:00 Jan. 15-April 15, 2016. 12 classes – $150. Course #3572

Parent Preschool Program (ages 24-36 months as of Sept. 2015): This program is really two programs in one facilitated by two devoted early childhood specialists. Children play together in a nursery school classroom one morning a week. They learn what it’s like to be part of a group and what “school” is like. Parents take turns parent helping in the classroom assisting their child’s teacher. When not parent helping, moms (dads are welcome too) meet separately with their own facilitator for a parenting group and refreshments. Non-mobile siblings welcome. Classes meet Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 Jan. 14- April 7th, 2016. 12 classes $335. Course #3571 For information: www.ace.colonial.net/parentchild/home.html or call Ingrid Wheeler 978-369-7597. To register please see the website or call 978-318-1432

The Amazing Race Returns: April 2, 2016

Mark your calendar! CC at Play’s Amazing Race and Rockin’ After Party will take place on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Who do you want on your team to compete in this action-packed, scavenger hunt adventure, which is based on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race”?  Registration begins January 4, 2016.  Teams of two or three can race in one of three categories: Adult/18+, Youth/Grades 6-12, and Kids/Grades K-5. Space is limited; so don’t forget to sign-up early!  All proceeds from this fundraising event will benefit CC at Play, which was founded by local citizens with a shared belief that an active and engaged community is a strong community.  Together, they are working to restore, rebuild, and improve the high school athletic fields and park for all to use and enjoy.

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on Jan. 14, 2016. Submission deadline: 9pm on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Submit your item in the body of an email (no attachments or photos); it should be brief, single-spaced and have minimal formatting.  Please no bullet points, numbering, or underlining. Email your submission to thoreauannouncements@gmail.com.